Today, Netflix is all about movie and television streaming online. However, when the company first got started, its entire business model was based around renting DVDs to consumers. While you almost never hear anything about that side of the business now, it turns out that a lot of people still rent their DVDs from Netflix, to the tune of around 3 million subscribers to the service.
Those 3 million subscribers are a drop in the bucket compared to the 117 million subscribers that Netflix has around the world who subscribe to the streaming side of the business that provides both licensed and original content to view on demand. According to Variety, Netflix still makes good money off the DVD side though, over $50 million last quarter alone came from that side of the business. Still, people have been unsubscribing from that side of things at a steady rate, so, while the DVD rental business will likely still be around for a few years, it will close eventually.
If you rent DVDs at all, you probably do it through Netflix, mostly because there simply aren't a lot of other options. Before Netflix disrupted all of media by streaming content and creating its own original content, Netflix completely changed the DVD rental game by allowing you to rent movies by mail. It was the last nail in the coffin of traditional DVD rental stores that now barely exist in the world.
While it's a bit surprising that so many people still rent DVDs from Netflix, it certainly makes some sense. While Netflix, and other streaming services people have access to, have a massive amount of content available, they don't have everything and a lot more is available via DVD. While it doesn't give you the ability to watch whatever you want right now, if you get a particular desire to watch an old favorite that isn't available online, you can have it in a couple days. In addition, movies don't end up on Netflix until after they've been out on DVD for a while, so if you want to be able to watch a new movie sooner, you need to watch it on DVD.
Of course, while the DVD business may still be good, it really isn't where Netflix is spending its effort. It's all about creating original TV series and movies in order to boost the appeal of the Netflix streaming service in order to increase subscriber numbers.
At some point, the DVD rental service will close up shop and Netflix will say goodbye to the industry that helped it build the empire it has today, but for the moment it's still going fairly strong. Do you still rent DVDs from Netflix? Let us know in the poll below.